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Commercial building performance with operational intelligence

As artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to evolve and disrupt the industry, real estate professionals are finding ways to mesh technology with their world. Sustainable Built Environment is the need of time and Facilio is providing this for you. They are providing scalable and flexible solutions to unify all of our disparate building systems. One such company is Facilio Inc.

Constrofacilitator had a one-to-one conversation with Prabhu Ramachandran, CEO of Facilio Inc. recently. Prabhu Ramachandran’s career spans over 18 years of product, business and customer experience focused on enterprise-scale software for IoT-based connected services, sustainable building solutions, and telecom network management. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, he was the Director of WebNMS, the IoT division of Zoho Corporation. A pioneer and imminent thought leader in the global IoT space, he strongly believes that technology can be leveraged to drive environmentally responsible facilities that create a positive impact in the world.

During our conversation he shared insights about their cloud platform state, the value of IoT, the potential of building performance management and much more.

Here are a few excerpts of the interview.

Share insights on the Facilio cloud platform system and its application sectors?

Facilio’s AI-driven property operations platform allows commercial real estate owners to aggregate building data, optimize performance, and control portfolio operations – all from one place. What we offer is a software platform for those who have a large portfolio of companies. Our software helios in plan and maintain through a single interface. We cover end-to-end operations including work efficiency- for more work maximization, sustainability management- which includes energy, water, gas, etc., asset management- for better management of the life cycle of a house, and finally tenant experience management- how you provide comfort and safety. These are the broad areas we help our customers. Because of this platform, few things change drastically for customers, which is operational efficiency. We are predominantly working for commercial real estate which includes corporate offices, hospital and healthcare sectors, hotel sector, airports, malls and educational institutions.

How does the data-driven software work?

Generally, we have to juggle between tools to keep track of multi-vendor building systems, varied service contracts, and diverse touchpoints with tenants. They have critical tickets, work orders and asset information spread over emails, random notes, and spreadsheets.

Facilio removes all the hassle by bringing purchase contracts, vendor data, asset warranty, inventory, labour and tenant information in a single unified app. Because Facilio has all data generated by and within buildings into a centralized real-time application, you can easily drill down on an operational inefficiency thereby saving cost and time. We connect all personnel of a commercial building structure. For each personnel of a building system, we provide software apps that help to monitor individual works through notifications. This indicates the workflow structure, energy used, and efficiency achieved.

With Facilio, you can virtualize all meters and get the benefit of metering without the additional expense that traditional meters bring. The automated meter reading avoids discrepancies with tenants, automatically generates custom invoices and saves a lot of time spent on noting down readings on paper and spreadsheets. With all the energy data, Facilio provides heat maps (on any metric), regression (consumption correlation with degree days), load, peak energy, and API analysis to accurately boost performance. Plus it alerts immediately on an energy inefficiency, to take action right away and save costs.

How does the Facilio IoT system standardize the data collected from multiple sources?

If you look into the current scenario of building operations during the construction phase the building starts wire works, automation technologies, lights, ac, and other energy-related works for a particular project site. The moment the customer starts having dozens of buildings it creates a hassle to track activities of each building. Our data-driven model acts as a centralized platform for building management. Facilio’s IoT edge wears the expert’s hat and seamlessly connects every single building system no matter the type, make, or proprietary data protocols. The system collects data from individual buildings and re-uses them for maximized operational efficiency. Workflows are then created to address the problems and issues. Our IoT system notifies the need for a major repairing system as well,

What is the potential of building performance and real-time operational intelligence in property management?

If you look at the current model there are a lot of manual processors, so there are a lot of opportunities to apply technology to bring multi-fold efficiency in building operations. The first focus is on operational efficiency- that is less investment and a greater value for money. Secondly in provisioning superior tenant experience.

Facilio’s tenant portal and strengthen your tenant relationship. Now, tenants can request any service and view its progress which helps you ensure transparency and provide a delightful experience. Help tenants enjoy an increased uptime of better assets using our maintenance and anomaly detection functions. You can enable them to track and optimize their utility and service expenses in real-time so that you can gain a competitive edge by building tenants’ trust.

The real estate market is one of the most impacted sectors of the pandemics, most of the buildings are not nor occupied and are non-functional, there is severe pressure on stakeholders. They are looking for ways to manage building systems as well as welcome tenants with maximized facilities. Reduction in operational cost through a standardized one-point system, the owners are also looking for ways to cover up the cost. They want to gain the confidence of the tenants via technological updates. The potential of building performance and real-time operational intelligence in property Management has accelerated as big industry owners are now perceiving technology in a new light, especially after the pandemic.

Indian market is emerging in the commercial real estate market. The size is smaller, but in the last 12 to 18 months has brought in global real estate companies such as Blackstone, Brookefield, etc is coming into India. There has been a lot of acquisitions, so portfolio size is getting bigger for companies like us. We are seeing greater potential and value.

Will the data-driven model impact facility management companies?

Yes, it will in a positive way. Facility management is a 40-year-old industry. It started with manpower but the model is changing now especially after the pandemic facility management companies are now perceived as partners that can create value for real estate companies. They are looking for efficiency rather than the number of manpower supply, the focus is on the skill, not the numbers. The focus now real estate owners are the value of the properties and improvement of the lifecycle of physical assets so return on the building is going up. Automation will only help with productivity and efficiency. The industry is going through a transformation from the cost sector to the value sector.

Enlighten us on your work on the project for ICD Brookfield Place (ICDBP) to optimize building performance.

ICDBP, a joint venture between the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) and Brookfield Properties, is one of Dubai’s premier lifestyle and business destinations. With over 4 acres of curated dining, retail, and community space, alongside 990,000 square feet of Grade A office space in the heart of Dubai’s Commercial Business District.

 ICDBP selected Facilio after an extensive process to support this objective. They needed a scalable and flexible solution to unify all of their disparate building systems. Facilio’s thought leadership and innovative product portfolio stood out clearly & aligned well with our vision.

Facilio’s cloud platform will allow ICDBP to:

  • Gain real-time insights into building performance
  • Control spaces, equipment, and multiple building systems remotely from a “single pane of glass”
  • Exceed sustainability goals by leveraging embedded AI capabilities
  • Automate operations and equipment maintenance
  • Introduce new experiences for tenants

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